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Spirit Rock Statement of Values: Spiritual Sanctuary and Refuge

“As long as a society holds regular and frequent assemblies, meeting in harmony and mutual respect, they can be expected to prosper and not decline. As long as a society follows the long held traditions of wisdom, and honors its elders, they can be expected to prosper and not decline. As long as a society protects the vulnerable among them, they can be expected to prosper and not decline. As long as a society cares for the shrines and sacred places of the natural world, they can be expected to prosper and not decline.” —Jack Kornfield, based on the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta (DN 16)

Amidst the political and social challenges of our times and in light of our commitment to liberation, Spirit Rock declares itself to be a spiritual sanctuary and a refuge for all. We will honor and protect those who come here seeking the teachings of liberation.

We are stewards of the Dharma; we build bridges, not walls. A climate of divisiveness and fear cannot alter our innate human goodness, and it will never change our values as an organization.

Spirit Rock proclaims our continued commitment to the Buddha’s teachings of wisdom, compassion in action, interdependence and loving-kindness, excluding none.

We reaffirm these teachings: "Hatred never ceases by hatred but by love alone is healed. This is the ancient and eternal law."

We reaffirm these 2,600 year-old Buddhist values in the face of cultures of violence and harm that threaten life on this planet and that differentially impact oppressed, exploited and marginalized people, people of color, immigrants and refugees, poor people, women, disabled and differently abled people, Indigenous and LGBTQI peoples.

We denounce racism, misogyny, xenophobia, trans- and homophobia and all forms of oppression and the valuation of certain lives over others. We value and celebrate diversity, inclusivity and respect for all beings and the inherent dignity of all peoples.

The Buddhist Path teaches that meditation and inner freedom must develop together with a foundation of generosity, ethical behavior and loving-kindness.

We affirm that human happiness requires intentions that are free from greed, hatred and cruelty; speech that is true and helpful, not harsh, not vain, slanderous nor abusive; and actions that are free from causing harm, killing, stealing and sexual exploitation.

We affirm the interdependent nature of reality. When one being suffers, we all suffer. Thus, our own well-being and liberation is bound in the well-being and liberation of others. The only basis for Dharma life is virtue, respect and mutual care.    

Knowing this truth, we will resist the destructive forces of hatred, discrimination and recklessness and offer the powerful alternatives of fierce love and compassion.

With the Earth as a witness, the Buddha proclaimed his right to liberation and taught that all beings have the right to liberation, to be free from the oppressive forces of greed, hate and ignorance.

With the Earth as our witness, we offer a sanctuary for all to awaken together.

Spirit Rock will continue to be a light in our society, to respond to constantly changing conditions, and to offer practices, teachings, and refuge that nurture the internal life in support of external service. We practice not for ourselves but for the welfare, happiness and safety of all life everywhere.

May all beings be free, and may our actions contribute wholeheartedly to that freedom.

December 2016

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